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Menlo’s Investment in True Anomaly: A Defense Prime for Space

December 12, 2023

Today, Menlo Ventures is proud to announce our investment in True Anomaly’s $100 million Series B financing.

True Anomaly's Jackal spacecraft
Rendering of True Anomaly’s Jackal spacecraft

As geopolitical competition and conflict extend into new domains, safeguarding space and the satellite infrastructure of the U.S., its allies, and partners, will be one of the most important national security imperatives of this century. This is True Anomaly’s mission, and they have a unique team, led by co-founder and CEO Even Rogers, and an ambitious technical approach to achieve this vision.

Space and defense tech have been on the rise in the startup ecosystem the last few years as the public sector realizes it needs the nimble private sector for innovation. These opportunities can be massive, and the establishment of the U.S. Space Force is a perfect example. The Space Force was established in 2019 in recognition of the importance of maintaining space superiority—becoming the first new independent U.S. service branch since the creation of the Air Force in 1947, and the only new branch of the military likely to be created in our lifetimes. Its budget grew rapidly to more than $30 billion in 2024, and its leaders articulated a need to partner with the private sector to achieve the next generation of defense capabilities for the space domain.

Enter True Anomaly, which is led by Space Force and Air Force veterans who possess a unique understanding of the opportunity. The company has developed a technology stack that includes training software and services, an operating system for space, and a constellation of satellites designed to conduct reconnaissance and deterrence—in short, the technology necessary to protect American assets in space.

True Anomaly’s latest $100 million of financing, which we are participating in alongside our friends at Eclipse and Riot Ventures, is impressive for a company at this stage and gives the company the capital to execute against an important mission. Aside from the market and mission, two things really stood out to us as we’ve gotten to know Even and his team: Technology and talent.

Modern Technology to Combat Modern Threats

At the core of True Anomaly’s offering is a full-stack, software and hardware platform for conducting a variety of dynamic rendezvous and proximity operations (RPO)—a gap in the existing industrial base and government capabilities that True Anomaly is seeking to deliver via a constellation of smaller form factor, on-orbit spacecraft for non-Earth imaging and rapid response missions.

True Anomaly’s Mosaic software

The company has already put its software into the hands of buyers, and is making rapid progress on the delivery of its first two satellites. It recently completed the build, assembly, and integration for its first two Jackal autonomous orbital vehicles (AOVs), which are slated to launch aboard SpaceX’s Transporter-10 mission in 2024.

Backing the Best Team in Space Security

Even and his co-founders Tom Nichols, Kyle Zakrzewski, and Dan Brunski bring an impressive military background and deep understanding of defense procurement from their experience serving together in the 4th Space Operations Squadron, a part of the U.S. Space Force. The team shares the vision for how a responsive and agile defense industrial base can become meaningful partners to our nation’s military in its mission to protect American interests in space.

We’re excited to support Even and the rest of the True Anomaly team as they continue equipping the U.S., its allies, and partners with the capabilities necessary to maintain space superiority.

At Menlo, we’ve been long-time partners in innovation for American progress—including companies that are building hardware and software products for the public sector (most sell to public and private sectors). Our portfolio that concentrates in this domain includes Clarifai, a computer vision and AI platform with several government use cases; and Dedrone, which provides counter-drone defense to the U.S. and its allies. If you are pursuing a big idea and important mission for our country and world, in hard tech or defense tech, we’d love to hear from you.